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'We're going to electrify the F-Series,' Ford exec says (freep.com)
170 points by prostoalex 37 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 276 comments

This is a big deal. The F-Series is the single most popular vehicle in the US, and nearly 900K of them are sold every year!

In fact, the top 3 models in the US are F-Series, Silverado, and Ram, so the environment will definitely appreciate the electrified competition the F-Series will force.

... Although now I'm reminded of the bit I read recently that noted in thirty minutes a two-stroke leaf blower emits as much CO & NOx pollution as driving an F-150 3,800 miles.


CO and NOx are a larger immediate health issue (see: EU cities struggling with widespread adoption of dirtier diesel cars) but a lesser issue in the long term than greenhouse gas (CO2) induced warming.

I bring this up because it's a fascinating trade-off when it comes to diesels, where increased NOx emission can reduce CO2 emission substantially (through improved combustion temperatures leading to lower fuel burn) - the exact tradeoff VW were illegally making in their "cheating" diesel cars.

Possibly, as two stroke burns oil intentionally. But the actual volume of carbon dioxide emissions is a function of the volume of fuel consumed. A small handheld tool won’t use much fuel compared to the (napkin math) 500 liters of petroleum in the vehicle.

Note that he said CO not CO2. Carbon monoxide is produced from incomplete combustion, which two stroke engines are notorious for. Leaf blowers lacking catalytic converters (which as the name suggests, catalyze the conversion of incomplete combustion byproducts like CO) only make this worse.

Yeah, this is still momentous news. As with targeting gas-guzzlers twenty years ago, it's not eco-sexy like a 100MPG Prius, but the F-150 model probably produces more carbon dioxide than any other passenger vehicle in the US, maybe in the world.

>it's not eco-sexy like a 100MPG Prius

Oh HN.

Oh honey.

Two stroke engines are notoriously dirty. Over the past couple of decades, cars have become a lot cleaner due to all the regulations, but two stroke engines (also popular in mopeds) produce disproportionate pollution now.

I used to ride a 2 stroke motorbike to school. It emitted more CO and NOx than an SUV. Upon saying that, SUVs still (obviously) emit more CO2 than 2 banger bikes. And the biggest polluter is still cargo ships with their massive 2 stroke engines burning high-sulfur, heavy fuel oil.

I'm not sure about the USA, but at least in Australia 2 strokes aren't very common at all these days. I don't remember the last time I saw a 2 stroke lawnmower or any other type of garden tool. Electric is probably more popular than petrol for home use, as it doesn't require you to keep a little tank of petrol lying around and it's a lot quieter.

Gas tools are still pretty popular. Most lawn services use exclusively gas 2 strokes. Leaf blowers, weed eaters, and edgers. Most lawnmowers aren’t 2 stroke.

If you drove a 2 stoke dirt bike around people will call the police and complain about noise. I know from my teenager years.

I can't believe that pickups are the three most sold models in the US. That's really insane. https://www.businessinsider.com/best-selling-cars-and-trucks...

I started driving a truck 15 years ago after a number of sports cars/sedans/etc. I will never go back.

Its not insane when you consider any number of factors, starting with the fact that Americans are BIG. As a large person myself (although not overweight), I'm here to tell you that what a 120 pound 5'6" person finds comfortable frequently is painful for me.

Second, I spend upwards of 2+ hours a day sitting my my car, spending a couple grand extra a year for a seat that is 6" wider, doesn't require me to have the flexibility of a 15 year old doing a deep knee bend every-time I get in/out of my car, and allows me to sit upright rather than tilting the seat back into the second row is well worth it.

Third, while there are some SUV's and maybe minivans that qualify on the comfort front, they either tend to be less efficient, cost more, or have social stigma associated with them.

Sure if I had two vehicles, I might be able to get away with driving the truck on the weekend or when I actually need it, but the convenience of being able to throw a bike, kayak, lawn mower, TV, piece of plywood/drywall/2x4/etc in the back when I need to is worth it. Plus, I tow something maybe once a year, but again, if you only have 1 vehicle.. The two vehicle argument might make more sense, if there was space and insurance/taxes/etc were per person rather than per vehicle.

Finally, part of the problem is the American car market. Sedan seems to frequently translate to econobox. In Europe a basic car is smaller, but somehow frequently seems to have far more leg and headroom than a similar American car. This space problem seems to extend from the econoboxes in the US to the luxury car market as well. Apparently in the US, taking an econobox, putting leather and a bigger engine in while leaving the chassis/etc the same (or streamlining it and making it even smaller as honda/acura seems to do) is common. The result is that if your bigger than average, you likely don't fit in something that isn't a SUV/Truck.

Interestingly (perhaps?) we got a Leaf a few months ago and the biggest thing that surprised me is that it is massive inside. I guess because the battery is stored under the floor. Although I have relatively short arms for someone my height (5' 10"), I still think it's instructive to say that when I'm sitting in the passenger seat, I can't touch the dash without leaning forward. And, again, I have slightly shorter legs, but with the seat all the way forward, I can still stretch out my legs without bending them and not touch the front. I have a long body (if it weren't for my short legs, I would be well over 6') and I can wear a straw hat in the car and still have a couple of inches of clearance. Not so sure about width... I'm probably "average sized" for a North American (fat for a Japanese person -- my wife likes to remind me...) and the width is perfectly comfortable.

My supposition is that electric vehicles are just a lot more efficient on space. The leaf isn't a huge car externally (although it's not exactly small either), but it's the biggest interior I've ridden in for a long time (probably not since my Grandfather's Buick).

As for the 2 car issue, I actually don't use a car much at all. The only reason we have one is because my wife insists that she needs it. Getting things delivered is both more convenient and cheaper from my perspective. The trade off is that I need to plan ahead a day or so, but I don't actually have to lift big heavy stuff. If I need to haul something bigger, I just rent the appropriate vehicle. I usually end up renting once or twice a year. It saves massive amounts of money. It is a lifestyle change, but it's got upsides as well as downsides.

Do you own a house? Do you do work on it yourself? Do you maintain a lawn?

How about sporting activities? Own a boat? A snowmobile? A few kayaks maybe? Dirt bike?

I assume you have a trash pickup at your place. You know a lot of towns don’t, and you have to haul your own trash to the town dump?

Perhaps there are a million reasons why it’s great in your life to not own or even feel like you need a car. Perhaps there are a million other reasons people want and need a truck to drive.

Personally, once I started maintaining a house and an acre of land, the way I wanted to maintain it, it gets very difficult having to wait hours for someone to return with the Home Depot truck because I need to get xyz thing home. I mooch off my brother a lot to move heavier equipment around, because he has a truck and a trailer, but there are a lot of projects I can’t get done for lack of a proper work vehicle.

I order a lot of stuff off Amazon. But every time I’ve tried ordering groceries I’ve regretted it. Mostly because they insist on delivering from a store 13 miles away when there’s a perfectly good Whole Foods 3.5 miles down the road, and it just seems so asinine.

Sounds like the Prius is styled more European than most sedans. Makes sense it has more head/leg room given how boxy it tends to be.

Anyway, I looked it up, and for comparison a tundra:

headroom: 39.4 vs 39.7

legroom: 42.3 vs 42.5

(so fairly similar on the head/leg, what about big in the other direction)

shoulder: 55.0 vs 65.7

hip: 53.4 vs 62.6

Hmmm not so similar. Also, the tundra has the least headroom of any full size pickup. The GM/chevy's have 4" more, which for tall people is literally a life/death choice if they get into certain accidents where their head impacts the ceiling.

Ditto on the Leaf. I’m 6’5” and still have 2” headroom, and most importantly, clear line of sight (not looking into visor).

I can also put the seat all the way back and still fit someone behind me.

It has much more passenger room than my Toyota truck. Very happy with it.

Tesla same; drove one a few weeks ago, had 6 adults in it, and room for more I think. More than enough room.

Tesla at least in the case of the model S, has quite respectable specifications, but I physically could not drive one a couple years back. IIRC, Like the newer mustangs the seat angle drives my knees into the dash at an angle which doesn't provide enough clearance to get my feet into position. ALSO IIRC, I had to lean the seat way back to keep my head off the ceiling. If I had one handy I would go measure why it doesn't work and compare it with their official head/legroom numbers.

What about suitcases for those 6 people?

Minivans get a bad rap IMO. The covered transport space inside when you fold the seats down is insane.

Exactly; my Dodge Caravan Sport w/3.8L would turn the 16 tires easily, handled well, fun to drive, and hauled all of my family, building materials, and machinery. 19 years and 240k miles, was cheap to own, not pretty anymore but still runs well.

I feel like large people requiring large cars is a relatively recent phenomenon. I had an early 90s Honda Civic as my first car which was ridiculously small by modern standards, and it had plenty of room for me at over 6 feet.

I don’t know why this is exactly, but it seems useful interior space is decreasing across all vehicles as dashes get bigger and curvier and more surrounding. I’ve driven my 2008 Honda Fit for 10 years, but the second and third gen models, while bigger and heavier, have less driver legroom due to big curvy dashboards and controls bulging in towards the driver. I can’t drive the ‘09 or later Fits, it’s physically impossible (I’m 6’8”).

Similarly my 2002 Tahoe (same vehicle as Silverado, Yukon, suburban etc in most aspects) has a ton of room for repositioning myself in the drivers seat, I can and have driven it 8+ hours in a day with no discomfort whatsoever. However my father in law has a suburban of a generation after mine, and while I still could drive it comfortably, there is only one available position for me, even with the addition of a telescoping wheel in the later year models. I would be exhausted after two hours from the inability to reposition myself.

I'm tall too, and noticed the same thing. I drove a fox body mustang in the early 90's, but every styling change since has reduced the amount of interior head/leg room. A couple years back I had a hard time even as a passenger in one. I couldn't even get my legs under the dash due to the angle it was positioned at relative to the seat.

I suspect at least part of it has to do with fuel economy standards which are partially being met by reducing the frontal area of the car. The easiest way to do that is to take a couple inches off the height of the vehicle.

Safety standards similarly are affecting the driver position and the crash test dummies aren't 7' tall. I noticed this a few years ago when the headrest standards changed and I now have a piece of headrest that doesn't raise high enough but sticks forward 8" pressing into the middle of my back in cars that would otherwise be ok to sit in. (I have the same problem on airplanes).

Interesting theory re: reduced frontal area. In college I drove an E28 ('82-'88 5-series) BMW, which were pretty darn small cars, and I actually was fine in it for over a year before I even realized it had a telescoping steering column, which made it even better!

As my height is mostly in my legs, I don't notice the head room issues as much, but I notice across all three vehicles I've mentioned, they all have very minimalist dashboards, basically a flat slab sloped away from the cabin as you descend with some knobs on it. I could hang my right knee out in that space in front of the controls and over the gear shift if I wanted to stretch or twist, and all that is taken up by super tall consoles, or climate control panels that jut out and tilt toward the driver now.

Since you mentioned Mustangs though, I had this same issue in the '96-'04 generation of Mustangs, but on the driver side. The way the door handle assembly curved inward toward the driver to meet the dash made actually quite a small space between the door and the steering wheel. If I put my left hand at 9 o'clock on the wheel, it was physically impossible for me to raise my left leg high enough to work the clutch, as the combo of wheel/hand/door blocked my knee from coming up as high as it needed.

I wonder if this is some sort of "perception of safety" design, as all these spaces I'm talking about would normally be empty and useless with an average driver, and so these big interior panels are growing into those spaces, perhaps to enhance the feeling of being cocooned and secured by the vehicle? Similarly center consoles keep getting taller as well. Just a thought.

I think the summary here is that, the head/leg room numbers rarely are indicative of whether the car has been designed/tested for taller people.

As you mentioned telescoping steering, I have to point out the toyota FJ, which I would have purchased because sitting it in was incredible... OTOH, the steering wheel didn't telescope, and the pedals weren't positioned particularly deeply, so while the seat slid backwards with incredible range, to drive it without leaning forward to hold the steering wheel required having the seat so far forward as to cramp my legs.. Just a couple inches of telescope would have made all the difference.

My current truck is an 01 and has been paid off for over 15 years :)

I believe pickup trucks make up <20% of total car sales, but there are fewer models to choose from compared to sedans or crossovers, so the most popular pickup models get a disproportionate amount of sales.

This. Very misleading without this.

Part of it is identity. Even now, living in central London, I really do miss my dad's Ford Ranger which we used to use for moving construction materials and scrap metal up in Maine.

It's the same in New Zealand, where the Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux are the two best selling vehicles.

There are far more compact cars sold than pickup trucks, it's just that most manufacturers only offer one model of pickup truck, and often offer several similar models of compact cars, hatchbacks, sedans, and SUVs.

In NZ, Ford offers 3 different small passenger cars and 4 different SUVs, but only one pickup [1]. Toyota is much the same.

[1] https://www.ford.co.nz/all/

Think fleet vehicles and you will get a lot of those numbers. https://www.fleet.ford.com/

Perhaps it's connected to the observation that one in five USA households have "zero or negative" net worth. Imagine the sacrifices they make for their future, and their children's future, so they can feel big on city roads and haul around nine cubic yards of air.

'You do you', I guess.

I look forward to it. My F150 gets between 19mpg and 13mpg depending on the gas and the temperature(!) I'd love to spend less than $90 at the pump

Do you need a truck?

(If so that's just fine. But I'm in Texas, and I'm pretty sure most of these folks could get by on something smaller...)

Not the OP, but I've recently had several similar discussions with friends/family about trucks when I bought my Tesla. I live in Tennessee, a popular truck area.

They claimed to like trucks for the convenience. Being able to throw stuff in the back and not have to think about whether it will fit in a car. While I do understand this advantage, it would only help me 2-3 times a year, and I aim to optimize for the 95% of daily driving.

There is definitely a social and fashion element to it too, just like there is with any brand/type of vehicle.

I disliked pickup trucks for their size and fuel consumption until I owned a house and got heavily into gardening. Home maintenance and significant garden activity are made waaaaay easier by having a truck [or big van, I guess] available.

That said, I still don't personally own a truck, borrowing them as needed. An all-electric model of good quality would be pretty tempting to me.

In Norway even in countryside people do not get pickups. It could be that trucks are just not very good in winter with snow and ice on mountain roads. Or people are not going to pay for extra fuel consumption with prices like 7 usd/gal.

But trailers are widespread and gardening/furniture shops provide them either for free or for a very low price.

>trucks are just not very good in winter with snow and ice on mountain roads

Canadian here who drives a truck in the snowy mountain roads, I'm pretty confused by this. Why do you say they are not good? There is nothing I'd rather be in than an F350 with studded tires and four-wheel drive on the highway when the road conditions go bad.

4x4 trucks don't get stuck but they aren't good at stopping/turning, compared to say a Subaru or even a FWD or RWD car with proper tires. They still suffer from terrible weight distribution and wide tire contact patch.

I meant a typical truck without 4-wheel drive. 4-wheels are much more expensive in Norway due to taxes.

But there is another problem with trucks. It rains a lot in Norway especially on the west coast and in mountains. And it really sucks to load-transport-unload without the roof under the rain. Most trailers here are with the roof for this reason.

In Canada you would be silly if you only bought a 2WD truck. You can also get a 'topper' for the bed to enclose the area. Vans are also popular for transport as well.

Interesting that 4WD is taxed differently. Is this due to fuel consumption reasons?

On your last point, are truck canopies not common in Norway? Something like this: https://canopy-world.com/

Taxes on cars in Norway depend strongly on fuel consumption and engine power.

Canopies are really rare. What is typical is vans or cargo vans in all sizes. That is, something with a roof and front-wheel drive. As roads here are good, there is little point in high-rised cars. And on icy roads or with snow good winter tires are much more important than 4WD.

Likewise in the UK pickup trucks are not fashionable; rural people get Landrovers (or similar), urban workers tend to prefer vans. Trailers are not so widespread. Being able to rent one from a store sounds like a great idea; there are a few shops (B&Q, IKEA) which often have a van rental concession in their parking.

I rent trailers from U-Haul for that, it's only $15/day.

Plus however long it takes to drive to u-haul, wait for them to check-out the trailer, hook it up, use it, then drive back to u-haul, return it, etc. Time is money.

Trailers should lend themselves well to the sharing economy, no?

Minimal maintenance, largely stored sitting idle, no cleaning required. You don't even need to unethically deem your workers as contractors.

Trailers are a huge pain in the ass, have you ever backed up with one? I've done my fair share of trailer towing and given the choice between a trailer and a pickup, I chose the pickup every time.

Trailers have a capacity advantage though. Sometimes the shit you're moving simply won't fit in a large pickup truck. In those cases though, having a truck with sufficient power to tow that trailer is still handy...

This is an advantage of driving tractors as a child. Backing up a trailer is second nature for me. I can back around corners, between obstacles, whatever needs to be done, often without taking a hitch. One time I was driving a U-haul pulling a car on a dolly, so there wasn't one but two pivot points. I stupidly pulled into a gas station that didn't have a way to pull through, but I was still able to back out of it rather than suffering the ignominy of unloading the car. My grandfather scoffed when he heard about it; apparently county fairs used to have contests in backing up "four-wheeled wagons" which had similar configurations.

The only thing you need is practice. The next time you use a trailer, take it to a big WalMart parking lot during a slow time and play around with it a little bit. You'll get a feel for where the "fulcrum" is, and start using your mirrors to steer. This isn't an impossible task. All the semi truck drivers you see on the road have to get really good at this in order to pass their CDL, and lots of them never backed up a trailer before they took the course.

Every year when I was a kid I got the 'privilege' of driving around a leaf vacuum (https://woodgears.ca/misc/with_trailer.jpg) Unloading it always meant backing it up down a path in the woods to the leaf pile. I can back up a regular two-wheel trailer without jack-knifing it, but even with experience it still takes my full concentration. I'm sure it becomes like riding a bike eventually, but it's annoying enough that I don't really care to attempt it frequently.

My main point though is mass market trailer rental to the general public will probably never be very popular. Most people have never attempted to back up a trailer before and at least the first few times they attempt it the chance they'll jackknife it is pretty high.

You think that's hard! Try backing up a grain wagon with an articulated hitch! That means the front wheels steer with the direction of the hitch (long rod from the front of the wagon to the tractor's drawbar). Going forward its great - the wagon follows around curves instead of being dragged around, which is important with tons of grain in the wagon.

But backing up! Its like pushing a rope. And I had to get the rear of the wagon within 1ft of the target - an old tire with a grain auger's business end in it, so I could unload.

>have you ever backed up with one

Yes, every time I park it. It is much easier to learn how to back with a trailer than to learn how to drive

Roof racks then?

Sheet materials and long materials up there no problem, everything else in the boot.

Untrained people pulling poorly maintained trailers with under-sized vehicles and without the brake lights hooked up properly because there are several connector standards will cause a lot of wrecks.

Isn’t that what U-Haul does? Possibly behind a 28’ truck driven by a driver that’s never driven anything more than a Civic?

A trailer to haul building materials from the home store could be really cheap. Consider one of these:


At $350, not having to share a utility trailer with careless drivers seems quite attainable.

One would think so, yes. But in practice people can be utter assholes when borrowing a neighbor's power tool. Now imagine with a trailer.

Yes; people on lakes already share pontoon trailers. And yes they can be difficult at first to back up, but like everything a little bit of practice and you have a new life skill.

You can rent a truck from any of the big home improvement store chains fairly cheap as well.

I like light trucks because they are for people who plow snow, carry bricks, lumber, cinder blocks, lawn mowing equipment, hogs, chickens, bails of hay, etc. in all weather over all roads and even no roads. E.g., there is good ground clearance for charging through snow, over rough ground, jumping curbs, etc. The suspensions are stiff, rugged, and long lasting, can take bad bumps and keep going with no damage.

The light trucks have BUMPERS that actually work; so, can bump into something, push another truck, maybe by accident hit a deer some night, all with little or no damage. With no bumpers, lots of little bumps would need $1000+ for body repairs.

So, as a result, light trucks are functional, rugged, and comparatively simple and easy to maintain. I.e., light trucks get rid of the nonsense luxury stuff I don't need, can't use, don't like, don't want, don't want to pay more for when I buy, and most of all don't want the cost and Excedrin headache #498,293,991 of maintenance.

These trucks are much the same year after year, aren't "all new", and, thus, have a lot of the bugs, design errors, bad corrosion problems, and bad part kinks worked out. As soon as a seller claims "all new" I'll have to conclude the seller had a lot of problems with their models for the last several years and walk out saying "Maybe I'll see you again in 10 years.". "All new" may be good for Paris fashions, but I don't want it in a vehicle.

These trucks have solid rear axles, usually with stiff leaf springs -- that is, RUGGED with no problems with alignment, weak bushings, etc.

I like Ford and Chevy because they are made with parts readily available, from Ford, Chevy, or third parties, all over the US at relatively low prices now and for decades into the future, use English wrench sizes, and are well understood by a huge fraction of US mechanics.

My next vehicle will be a light truck from Ford or Chevy even though I will rarely make good use of the bed in the back.

For a vehicle I want a solid, mechanical tool, functional, rugged, durable, easy to maintain. As soon as a seller mentions luxury, I'm gone. Yup, like Jay Leno, I like blue jeans, too.

Sounds good. Where can I get one? Even the new Ford Ranger is a massive truck, not one I would consider light, and the half tons are even worse. The truck beds are so high I have trouble reaching inside and I'm over six feet tall. And sure, the base cost of a F150 is theoretically under $30k, but good luck finding one of those on the lot, the real starting cost appears to be about $50k and chock full of those luxury features you disdain.

Yes the Ford 150 and the Chevy 1500 or some such are called light trucks because there are also much heavier trucks, big Diesel engines, maybe dual wheels on the back, able to tow a small yacht, etc.

Typically can get a list of the possible options and dealer's price for each, develop a list of just what want with the dealer's cost, and then take an afternoon and do a search for a dealer who will give you the best price. Start with offers a bit below dealer's cost, try all the dealers, increase by maybe $100 and iterate. Or, maybe a little faster, try a binary search.

Then pay them a small amount and have them place the order, wait about six weeks, and then get what you wanted. I did just this for the last four new cars I bought -- worked fine.

Of those four, I got two muscle cars, a high performance luxury car, and an SUV. The SUV is my favorite. NO MORE luxury cars. Next time, a light truck.

Sorry, anything bigger than the F350 I drove on the farm in the 70s is not a light truck.

And I've never understood the appeal of SUVs. For under half the price you can get a Dodge Caravan that will actually hold a full sheet of plywood.

> Sorry, anything bigger than the F350 I drove on the farm in the 70s is not a light truck.

Agree. I was saying why a Ford 150 is called a light truck, right, because the 350, etc. are larger.

> And I've never understood the appeal of SUVs. For under half the price you can get a Dodge Caravan that will actually hold a full sheet of plywood.

The SUV I bought was a Chevy Blazer. At the time on the same chassis there was a pickup version. I hoped that it would be more rugged than a passenger car. Partly it has been. I wish it had been still more rugged and done a LOT better on corrosion protection.

The 1969 f350 is smaller than the 2019 f150

Blame the chicken tax. There are tons of really good light trucks on the European and Japanese markets, but they get stuck with a 25% import duty if you bring them into the US.


I’m guessing your not happy with Ford and GM’s all new aluminum beds then?

GM doesn't have an aluminum bed, still steel. What GM and Chevy have that's aluminum is anything with a hinge. So, doors, hook and tailgate. The bed itself is still steel.

Interesting. Just looking at the diagram of the 2019 Silverado that’s a lot of mixing of dissimilar metals. In the ford it’s a pretty clear demarcation point that’s easy to electrically isolate.

It will be curious to see how all the brands stack up corrosion wise in the next few years.

I guess GM couldn’t stomach using an aluminum bed after the 2016 ad campaign against ford.

Aluminum is good for resisting corrosion, but it is usually less rugged than steel. For a truck bed there are really tough plastic liners. Can also get a Lear or some such cover for the bed.

For a steel bed, get something to protect against corrosion, and for an aluminum bed get something to protect the aluminum if it is too soft.

Not sure why you're getting down voted...

As someone who grew up on a farm I always looked at rich people in a city that drove a truck kind of funny. I don't get it, but around where I grew up there is a middle class of people who go to church, listen to country music, and drive $50k trucks everywhere even though they get terrible mileage.

As a tangent, if you go far enough out in the wilderness, having a truck makes some sense. You might have to drive a couple hours to the nearest store in some remote parts of the US that I've visited, and I can't imagine making the trip more than a couple times a month at most- and you may have to haul a load up and down several (potentially icy) mountains. However, I don't think that's why most people own trucks. It's a fashion thing, the same reason people drive most other $50k cars around.

I also live in the South and most people in my Suburb have zero use for a truck, but will gladly spend $90 to fill up their gas guzzler.

Why? Because it is a symbol of masculinity in the South and many men would never ever drive a car. Their grandfather had a truck, father had a truck, and they were given a truck as their first vehicle. It would have made sense for the grandparent on the farm, but if you sit in front of a computer 8 hours a day and live in a suburban neighborhood...you probably don't need a truck.

With that being said, there are folks down here that still need trucks for work and recreational activities like hunting and towing a boat.

How heavy is the boat? A Toyota Corolla can tow up to 1500lb.

A 20 ft trailer sailer will generally weigh around 1000 kg, plus trailer and rigging.

And just because a Corolla can technically tow 1500 lb doesn't mean it does it well. In my experience Corollas do not tow well. The combination of small engine and relatively high gearing means that it's not really suitable. You really need at least a 2 L engine for towing.

That's not to mention all the other stuff you end up carrying around for the boat, such as fuel, tools, life jackets, etc.

These days you also have to be careful about which kind of transmission a car has. The CVT's generally can't pull any where near as much load as the older geared transmissions.

Honestly, as someone who worked for AAA at the roadside, the Corolla is an admirable car in its own respects. Ive seen late 90s models absolutely abused and make it to the 150k mile mark.


With that being said, if you try to tow a boat with a corolla, you’re practically sentencing the poor thing to transmission trouble and differential difficulties. I’d say that you’d be lucky to get a boat from driveway to launch ramp 3 separate trips before the transmission fails. All of that is assuming you can find someone to frame weld a tow hitch for a boat to the corolla.

a 1500lb boat would be a small fishing boat, and the low side for a 16' runabout. A pontoon boat, sailboat, or watersports boat are going to need 3000lb+ towing capacity; rear wheel drive, and a bigger wheel base. As you approach 25', you need closer to 6000 lbs towing capacity.

I'm in Utah. I have a small wagon that gets 30+ mpg and and f-250. Do I need the 250? No. I don't really need the wagon either, I can take transit to work every day, or bike. Or walk. But I like having the 250 so I can haul loads of dirt by the yard for my garden, stone fill for the driveway I'm diy'ing, the compactor to tamp it down, drywall sheets for my remodel, or my mountain bike along with those of six buddies. And if I had to pick just one car? It'd be a truck.

I also tend toward the thought that most truck drivers don't need trucks. But people don't buy vehicles based on their median driving behavior, they buy them based on their ability to handle common but not daily needs. I'd venture to guess that most texans with pickups use their truck bed far more often than californians use their back seats.

I use my back seats all the time. Where do you think we put our Whole Foods bags?

Surely the bags are reusable, so it’s not so much “Whole Foods bags” as it is, “bags of Whole Foods groceries”.

I dunno. I’ve got a lot of bags.

The kernel of truth in that: stores are required to charge for bags here (East Bay outside of SF). We have a bag of shopping bags - the “meta bag” - in our trunk so that we always have plenty available.

Gosh, I was really hoping your OP was sarcasm!

It was, or at least my attempt to be funny. But there is a little nugget of "ha-ha but no really" in there.

Haul my tractor on an 18-ft trailer. Make regular dump trips. Live on a 200ft driveway 2 miles from the paved road and have harsh winters, so the 4WD is very welcome.

Bought it used, around $20K with 4 years / 80K miles on it. Lined the bed, replaced the transfer case motor and voila a pretty good truck that looks good!

The $90/tank is because its a 36 gallon tank. Range around 600 miles full. With every advantage on the highway I've gotten > 20mpg but that's rare.

In Texas, can confirm. It's also crazy how much they spend on them. Pretty much a second mortgage for a lot of people based on income..

Can fit a lot in my hatchback and would just do what they do in New Zealand on the odd occasion I need more; rent a truck or van for the day.

Also in Texas, can also confirm.

My coworker dropped the phrase "Texas Cadillac" the other day. Couldn't cringe hard enough.

I hope to be able to afford an electric car for my next car purchase - for now, just a tiny Mazda stick-shift.

Kinda having second thoughts after reading that comment about battery production though...

In England "Chelsea tractor" means a jeep-like vehicle that never leaves paved roads.

Chelsea is a very fancy area of London. The kind of place Prince Harry went to party.

I suppose the equivalent US term is "mall crawler".

Perhaps in the late-nineties.

Do we even have malls anymore?

> "Texas Cadillac" Also known as the redneck cadillac.

I just learned that the term "redneck" actually comes from an old coal miner union strike that showed solidarity by using red kerchiefs hanging around their necks.

I can't use that term in the same way ever again, fwiw.

> I just learned that the term "redneck" actually comes from an old coal miner union strike that showed solidarity by using red kerchiefs hanging around their necks.

Curious, I reasearched this. While that was indeed one use of the term (especially re: the West Virginia mine war in 1921), the etymology for the term as we use it is from 1900ish, 20 years earlier. And it refers, more generally, to farmers and working class folk whose necks would be red from sunburn (wikipedia, well cited in the article on redneck).

Stereotyping rural or working class or poor people using the term "redneck" is bad in its own right, but I dont think it originates from the strike of a coal miner's union. But thanks for leading me to do some research, it was interesting!

Ahh thanks for digging deeper and providing insight on this issue. I'll admit, I only heard the description through a documentary and did not do any digging of my own. Now I know :}

> Stereotyping rural or working class or poor people using the term "redneck" is bad in its own right

Much of my family is made up of these people. And to a person they call themselves… rednecks.

And do these relatives say to urban snobs, "Please, I want you to dismissively refer to me as a redneck"? Because context of usage is important, and changes meaning.

I used to own a Focus hatchback and was always amazed at how much I could fit in it. But everyone shitting on Texans for owning trucks is crazy. This is a huge agricultural, construction, and manufacturing state and there are plenty of non white collar office jobs that demand a solid vehicle that won't get stuck in two inches of dirt. I don't have one of those jobs but I still drive a truck, because this is Texas and also America and I earned it...so quit your whining. Bring on the electric trucks.

> But everyone shitting on Texans for owning trucks is crazy

I didnt see anyone do that. I saw someone on a website complain about the price of gas to fill their truck, and someone else ask them if they considered driving something other than a truck.

(honestly, "do you NEED the truck?" is a very good question. I drive a Yaris to construction sites. Wouldn't work for every job, but everyone else in my position drives a truck. It's an important question to consider.)

There is definitely some shitting going on. It’s the same argument people make when they say people buy Apple products because they are a status symbol.

And honestly, NEED is a dumb question. You can ask do you NEED just about anything. No, it’s not strictly a need, and neither is anything else nerds regularly spend their money on. All of what we buy lands somewhere on a spectrum of Need-Convenient-Frivolous, and people who don’t buy something are not going to make the same assessment as people who do.

A car owner saying that a truck owner doesn’t need a truck because they get by fine without one is like a bike owner saying that a car owner doesn’t need a car because they get by fine without one.

> It’s the same argument people make when they say people buy Apple products because they are a status symbol.

A more accurate comparison would be: Apple Owner A complains about the price of apple products, Person B comes along and asks if said person has considered if they NEED an apple product. Totally reasonable. It's the initial complaint (about the cost!!!) that makes the question acceptable. Many people don't TRULY consider needs (as you rightly point out, it's a spectrum from need to frivolous). If you consider it and decide you do actually need the truck (or the apple product, or whatever) then that's totally fine. (well, tragedy of the commons global warming stuff excepted, but that's a society-level problem).

Shitting-on always happens here when pickups are brought up.

Silicon Valley - I mean HN - won't know what to do with itself when most trucks go electric.

Shitting on pickups in urban environments is the same as shitting on sedans in a rural environment - it isn't the tool best fitted for the job, generally. HN may shit on trucks more as a result of who is posting here, but it isn't an intrinsic wrong.

trucks going electric will be great for the same reason every vehicle going electric is great - it reduces dependence on fossil fuels, it reduces carbon dioxide emissions, it makes the outlook for the future less of a defeating thing!

I'm certainly looking forward to the electrification of vehicles. I hope it isn't a cash grab for utility companies though, and I really hope that we move more towards non-toxic energy sources or it'll really be a moot movement.

(Also, we're only a small part of the world, it needs to bleed into every other market, too)

Here in AZ the unimproved roads require truck level clearance

Do you need to fly in planes?

My 2015 with the 3.5 EcoBoost V6 got 22-24mpg on the highway

>>...the environment will definitely appreciate the electrified...

Nobody is concerned about the countries (e.g. Bolivia) involved to extract the materials needed for the batteries => this might kill them (on one hand I agree saying "they should be able to care for themselves", but on the other hand there are gigantic interests at play which will put huge pressure on their governments/politicians) => whoever buys a battery nowadays should think twice about its environmentally-friendliness?

Ideally, we don't want to re-play the oil-wars, in a different theatre? Hopefully not?

Any transition on this scale is going to have casualties, it's pretty much moot.

If you have a less harmful solution than EVs to transitioning to fossil-fuel-free transportation I hear it's quite a lucrative opportunity.

I do agree with your statement in general, but consumers are supposed to care, at least a little bit.

In my personal case I did invest something into a cobalt mine in Idaho because they're doing everything right from my point of view - but I agree that this might not be a selling point if people do not become aware of what's happening (as well far away).

I think this is more the other way round: Bolivia is desperate for something with world market value to export, so they're seeking investment for lithium mining. https://www.americasquarterly.org/content/others-snub-bolivi...

It's a very poor country.

Hopefully they make a version that isn't absolutely gigantic. I've wanted a basic, no-frills 4x4 pickup truck with a 6 foot bed for years now. Problem is, they're all gigantic. And, they all have back seats!

Ford released a new Ranger, which is nearly large as everything else out there. In the late 80's / early 90's there were all types of small trucks on the road (including the ranger). Now, there's zero options in US for something that resembles those vehicles.

Currently, I drive a compact SUV (Honda HRV), which does nearly everything I need. But, I have to line the hatch in a tarp when I deal with anything dirty. I'd love a truck version of this car, but the options are just absurdly large.

I used to drive a 1982 Datsun 720 truck. It was such a convenient town truck.

It had a 1.6 L engine in it (which wasn't very fuel efficient as it was 30 years old), and wasn't any larger than a sedan. Yet you could still fit practically anything you'd ever need in the back. The only disadvantage in the design was that the cab was sized for small Japanese people. I'm only 5'10" and I felt uncomfortable sitting in it for too long, it was also only single cab.

It's a shame that compact trucks are no longer a thing. Even the Toyota Hilux is a lot larger and more unwieldy than the models from the 90's.

What you really want is something like the ute version of the Ford Falcon or Holden [Chevy] Commodore [1], which they used to make in Australia and sadly have discontinued.

[1] https://www.whichcar.com.au/features/ford-xr6t-v-holden-ss-u...

It's the same as we used to have panel vans based on the sedan/ute wheelbase but they quietly disappeared and it's now 1t trays with a canopy or high roof vans like a Hiace.

Maybe the hot ute will make a comeback someday...


I'm curious, would Australian "trucks" (we call them "utes") satisfy your needs if they were sold in the US?


- Holden (GM) Colorado: https://www.holden.com.au/cars/colorado/ls-single-cab-chassi...

- Toyota Hilux: https://www.toyota.com.au/main/hilux or Landcruiser 70: https://www.toyota.com.au/main/landcruiser-70

- Ford Ranger: https://www.ford.com.au/commercial/ranger/compare-models/?in...

- Nissan Navara: http://www.nissan.com.au/cars-vehicles/np300-navara/range-an...

All of these have a single cab option and small beds (relative to American trucks).

I want a V8 Falcon. A car-based pickup would suit 99.99% of my use cases. They don't exist in the US market unless you buy something >30 yr. old.

Because the pickup isn't a work vehicle. It is a statement, a bit of fashion. That's where the market is. People want to look like they need a pickup. In reality, they would be better served by a minivan. They are why every truck has back seats.

A more honest answer is probably to get the smallish SUV and buy a trailer. An 8'x4' metal trailer, with full wheels, will let you haul the wood/stuff those few times a year you need to. When I was in university I had a small Jeep and a proper trailer. On big climbing/camping trips I could haul more stuff than any pickup. An 8'x4'x2' trailer is bigger than all but the biggest pickup beds. The bed was also lower, which made things like motorcycles much easier to load.

Good grief the bed heights are ridiculous now. Forget about reaching over the side and grabbing something without having to climb in: and I'm 6' tall! I've mastered this maneuver where I jump up and land with my stomach over the edge of the bed. It's uncomfortable but I can actually reach something. My father is three inches taller than I am, but it was still something of a revelation for him a couple of weeks ago when he realized what I was doing. Now he's doing it too.

It didn't used to be like this, before every pickup had to be 4WD with tall suspensions to handle towing heavy trailers. I'd like to buy an old truck just so I can actually reach my tools. Instead I'm thinking of getting one of those dinky Ford Transit Connects, because it will keep everything dry as well as accessible.

> Ford Transit Connects

That vehicle, and others like it, is the standard work vehicle for European people with equipment to move. Pickups are very rare.

"Transit" is almost a generic word for any van in the UK since the middle sized one is so common. "White van man" is derogatory, usually used when there's one illegally parked or driving carelessly.

Anyway, the method is well tested.

Over here in Europe there's good variety in the van market, which is functionally equivalent to the Pickup market in the US.

There may be an unmet demand in the US for some of the smaller vehicles. Most of the big car manufacturers here in Europe offer vans: Ford, Vauxhall/Opel, Mercedes, Renault

Here's some examples if you're interested in looking at some of them -

Smaller car-vans - like the Ford Fiesta, and Vauxhall/Opel Corsa both have (or used to have) van variants.

Small dedicated vans - like the Ford Transit Connect, Vauxhall/Opel Combo and Volkswagen Caddy

Regular vans - like the Ford Transit Custom, the Vauxhall/Opel Vivaro, VW Transporter

The Larger vans like the Mercedes Sprinter and Ford Transit you may be more familiar with.

In the UK where I am - Rural postmen, as an example use case, make heavy use of vans like the Transit Connect and Vauxhall Combo as the fleet vehicle of choice.

Regular Tradesmen (plumbers, builders, plasterers) for example tend to use tall panel vans like the Transit or VW Crafter as their weapon of choice.

Even a sedan will do if you just want the bed. Not ideal, but definitely possible. Used to haul drywall, gravel, lumber, etc. in a little trailer hooked up to my freaking Corolla.

Trucks are great because the extra degree of freedom is a PITA, but unless you're towing serious loads they are mostly just the country version of a lexus or BMW.

I understand your point but the pickup does have utility over the minivan because the bed is walled and outside the cabin. I own a minivan, though, and agree it’s extremely useful, and similarly to the earlier comment asking for a more utilitarian pickup, I wouldn’t mind more utilitarian vans instead of the parent-friendly trends towards safety and nice back seats at a higher price point.

>the bed is walled and outside the cabin That is the times where a trailer come in handy. Driving a big pickup every day because you need the bed once a month is only a fashion statement telling the world "I don't care about the environment". Even most hatchback can town a decent sized trailer

A pickup has additional utility over a trailer because it’s more maneuverable, can fit into a parking space, etc. I also think once a month isn’t necessarily too infrequent depending on the work done, but pickup owners seem to use their beds more often during seasonal weather.

I wonder if there would be a market for a company to do aftermarket conversions of the Ford Transit Connect into a Ridgeline-esque pickup truck.

Too bad Ford doesn't import the even smaller Transit Courier, though...

The pickup truck isn't a work vehicle? Wow do we live in different worlds.

He's exaggerating, but there are countless pickups on the road that have never towed a trailer, driven off pavement, or hauled a load of dirt.

Is that really as common as people make it out to be? It's rare I see a pick-up with a pristine receiver or bed where I am. sure there's the occasional "show truck" with 6" lift and 40" tires, but those aren't common.

It's probably really regional. Totally anecdotal but for example most shiny "show trucks" I see running around seem to sport TX plates, while WY plates seem to adorn late model trucks that have been used hard.

It seems like the prime habitat for "status" trucks would be areas with strong rural blue collar background, but plenty of wealth flowing today. Cultural significance combined with the wealth to afford $70k trucks.

And there are countless pickups that have.

Broad generalizations like that are just silly. You don’t even have to prove them wrong, they’re just a flawed premise.

I completely agree with this. The only truck I’ve seen that isn’t quite as absurd is the Honda one, but it’s also got a double cab.

I understand the “big macho truck” is part of the appeal for a lot of people, but for work in the city a smaller (1990 size) truck would be a better option.

Why do you want a smaller truck? Is it just to make parking easier? My impression is that the reason the compact truck mostly died off (or got larger) is that the fuel economy of the larger vehicles improved to the point that the smaller trucks had little advantage.

I heard it was because US regulations were more lax for larger trucks, and the smaller trucks couldn't keep up with the regulations.

I'm hopeful that electric trucks can bring back the smaller options.

Smaller trucks used to be far more affordable while still having the utility. If you're not shuffling a family around, this can be helpful.

Does it have to be a Ford? What about something like the Chevy Colorado?

Also, the redesigned Ford Ranger, similar in size to the Colorado, is now available.

Today’s Ranger and Colorado are about the size that the F-150 and Silverado we’re back in the 90s. The obesity epidemic has hit trucks pretty hard.

The price of being able to survive a 60mph collision.

But what about the other guy?

Survivability should be about crumple zones, air bags, etc, not steamrollering everyone.

You can get a 2 door 6ft bed Tacoma. It does have "back seats" but nobody's going to want to ride in them for more than 10 minutes. You can also get an F150 with just two seats and a 6.5ft bed. But yeah, physically, any pickup today is significantly bigger than one made in the 80s or 90s.

I dunno, the two-door Nissan Frontier at least looks like a "small 90s pickup"? But the photos could be lying, of course.


To those who also didn’t know what this is - Navara is the other name.

The old Hilux is sort of similar, and I love those.

Second this, with the caveat that the Colorado might be a good small size pickup alternative (I haven’t driven it, and the Nissan Frontier isn’t too big for a 4-door if you don’t insist on buying American).

Rivian is the much needed kick in the nuts. When it turn out to be a viable truck and not just vaporware with lofty promises, people took note. I am by no means a truck or suv type guy but the idea of full electric one is very intriguing, if only I had the space. I can imagine the allure of great low end torque, improved storage capacity and the fuel savings for the more leisurely drivers, who don't need to tow 10 tons or haul 1-2 tons which is frankly not the case for the vast majority of the people in my experience.

People keep saying lithium batteries loose capacity and stuff but less energy dense chemistries than the one in your mobile phone fare better in an automotive setting.

Big automotive companies had all the time in the world to come up with the tech of the future but they squandered the opportunity. Upstarts seem to be poised to eat their cake.

> Upstarts seem to be poised to eat their cake.

Probably not. I think Volkswagen will be the biggest producer of battery electric vehicles within the next 3 years. VW is also talking about licensing their MEB electric car platform to Ford (though not necessarily for this F-150).

I do like the look of the Golf GTE, but it's not sold here (Australia) and I don't trust VAG as a company.

In my estimation, electric is perfect for the smaller second car, where it becomes a no-brainer for 95% of commuting and shopping tasks. Tesla is going for the electric-car-first market. Volkswagen, BMW and others seem to be throwing darts at the wall to see what sticks.

Right now the most interesting future products are coming from Hyundai-Kia. In particular I'm looking at the Kia Niro EV with quiet anticipation. A completely normal and boring car that gets all the normal and boring stuff right—but with a well sorted pure electric power train.


Yes, I agree the Hyundai Kona EV is the best value for money today. It's got good range at a good price.

But the upcoming Volkswagen I.D. models are also cars which get the normal and boring things right:



The I.D. hatchback is supposed to be priced around the same as a diesel Golf. They say they'll be able to drive down prices though the economies of scale of their MEB platform:


And for high-end luxury cars VW will have the Porsche Taycan and at least three models of Audi e-tron in the next few years (Audi e-tron SUV to be released soon, a future Audi e-tron GT based on the Porsche Taycan's platform, and a future Audi CUV based on the same MEB platform as the I.D. models).

All true but again, I don't trust VAG as a company so I'm not inclined to purchase any of their products. I personally know too many people burned by their various catastrophes with their DSG gearboxes and diesel engines that I'd simply be too scared to hand over my money.

That's interesting, they are perceived as a quality/aspirational brand in the UK.

They are here as well (Australia) among some people but their reputation for reliability and longevity is trash among many segments of commentator and consumer.

Mazda has an unusually strong footprint in Australia, particularly for hatchbacks and crossovers.

Most non-German European brands are very unpopular, selling in relatively minuscule numbers.

Its not viable for most of the country truck uses. Charging stations would have to be immediate and portable.

Being 3 miles out in the fields and having battery go dead because you were pulling something would be damned inconvenient

I thought the majority of the pickup uses were pretty short range, such as:

- farmers driving around their property - construction workers bringing supplies to the work site - landscapers hitting a few customers in the same city

Since trucks have a large frame, there should be quite a bit of space for the batteries.

I'm thinking that many of the places trucks are used will have electricity available at the destination (construction site, farm, etc), or the total miles per day will be within the range of the vehicle (150 miles is probably more than enough).

That 150 miles assumes certain things. Like not towing 8,000lb plus loads around in less than ideal traction.

Your mileage on a farm can sometimes be several gallons to the mile.

Used to own a factory Ford Ranger EV.

The vehicle was a dead ringer for the gas version, down to the same weird gearshift off-by-half-a-position thing. I even gave people rides and they didn't notice it wasn't gas.

Alas, it had a second-hand 312V lead acid pack made up of out-of-production 8V batteries. One battery went bad and then it became a yearlong half-finished battery changeout. Sold it for about what I paid for it.

Would buy one (if they ever made any more) in a heartbeat. Word is Ford crushed most of the ones they made, rather than all of them.

I honestly think that this will help make electric vehicles more mainstream. People here in the US love their F-150's, and if Ford could make die hard truck fans switch from a V8 to a TTV6, then they're the ones that can convince the same fans consider buying a hybrid or electric F-150.

The aluminum chassis, too. Lot of tough truck guys were sure that was a terrible idea.

And I think the cultural problems will scuttle the whole thing.


> Bro-Truck Owners Are Deliberately Blocking Tesla Supercharger Spots

> I generally like people, which may be why I never fail to be surprised when I encounter people being truly unrepentant dickheads for no good reason whatsoever. That’s what seems to have been going down at a Tesla Supercharger in Hickory, North Carolina, where a Tesla owner was attempting to charge her car, only to find the Supercharger spots blocked by at least three pickup trucks, with the trucks owners chanting “Fuck Tesla.” What the hell?

The problem is that electric cars are associated with "Believing In Global Warming" which is associated with Blue Tribe. Red Tribe will fight this.

Many people bought Teslas because they were cool, not because they were helping the environment. Tesla gave consumers what they wanted AND it happened to be better for the environment.

If Ford can deliver an electric F-Series, it will have the same effect on truck owners.

Keep in mid the F-Series are sold as fleet vehicles too. Electric utility vehicles have a place.

Yeah, I read that article when it came out, and it seems that these guys were trolling hard. However, I'm willing to bet that once a truck fan (not the ones in your article) drive an electric pickup truck and experience all the low end torque that it puts out, they'll quickly become converts.

Yeah. If you actually want to pull something heavy - or just want to accelerate fast - that flat torque curve you get from an electric motor will leave ICE trucks in the dust.

Agreed. However your battery will die very quickly and leave you stranded in the middle of nowhere.

I had to take a couple home who were on the side of the mountain coming home from half moon bay to the pennisula. The gauge told them they had 40 miles left on the battery but that mountain climb killed it. If they had a gas car I could have poured them a bit from a can. As it was they had to get a tow and I drove the extra folks home

Yea that could happen but I would also expect a pickup truck to have significantly more juice in it than a sedan. This might also be one of the selling points for Ford( "we have the longest range"). Range anxiety is mostly a solved problem at least for Teslas but it still looms in some peoples' heads.

Or, you could use the nav system of your car to get an accurate estimate of battery usage. I've driven that exact route repeatedly, the nav estimate was spot on.

Point being there is no quick fix to running out of juice.

Electric motors should deliver more torque at lower RPMs, not simply flat torque, because power is torque x angular velocity. If we hold power constant, lower angular velocity means more torque.

The Rolling Coal troglodytes are an example of this mentality.

Light and reliable electric trucks + solar seem to have a decent shot at some kind of cultural resonance. 21st century rugged individualism.

Now, if only they would revive the light trucks of the 1980s. Even the new Ranger looks massive (perhaps, that’s only looks though?).

We had a 3rd-Generation Toyota 4WD that was simply amazing -- I think we sold it with 350K miles on it, and it's probably still running today. I looked at a recent Tacoma, and was shocked at how huge they'd gotten.


The new Tacoma is basically a ringer for the old Tundra.

no they are massive. the new tacomas are huge. i miss my 99 ranger :(

I was thinking about a Colorado and even those are huge compared to my old B4000 (Ford Ranger with a better grill). The Colorado was also the most uncomfortable truck I've ever sat in.

It'll probably never happen because pickups have such a big profit margin, they wouldn't want to sell a lower end one when people are buying the bigger ones. Also, you have to pay extra taxes to import trucks, so you either have to build them in the US or raise the price.

The Chicken Tax was going to be repealed as part of the TPP, but that obviously imploded.

I have a ford ranger from 1998 and a mazda b3000 from 2000. Both are stick shift and have over 250k miles on them

No I am not selling them even though parts are starting to get hard to find

They really are larger. You can't even buy a single cab Tacoma in the US anymore.

There is plenty of demand for short range commercial pickup trucks. Think of "on campus" maintenance vehicles. You need to tow equipment trailers, haul tools and bulk items, but you don't put many miles on them. A trip to the gas station is a pure waste of employee time, just charge them up at night.

Marketing may prevent Ford from leading with a short range truck, but a less than eye wateringly expensive vehicle with a lighter battery pack and less range would find buyers and make a safer, low volume launch.

There's demand sure, but not much profit available. Those fleet buyers choose the cheapest stripper spec trucks and have no brand loyalty. So the manufacturers focus on more profitable segments.

It's interesting though, with lower operating costs & less maintenance, they might be worth the premium even for fleet. Fleet buyers get the stripper spec because leather and A/C doesn't matter, but electric might influence the bottom line.

What would be really perfect for "on campus" maintenance vehicles where you're not driving them on the highway or towing heavy loads would be electric Kei trucks.

I will not buy another pickup when my F-150 is gone. So many god-dang people keep asking to borrow mine to run their errands.

buT HaRDly aNYonE aCtuaLLY haS USe fOr A TrucK

This would have been amazing for when I lived in a small town in the subarctic. My truck was always useful for things like dump runs or picking up lumber etc. But the town was 20 km end-to-end so I would rarely drive more than 10 km at a time. Of course you'd need a second car or truck for longer trips, but everybody has more than one car in a rural area anyways.

Completely flips the environmental option that many chose where you drive a Prius to work and a truck long haul, to the other way around.

The 2019 RAM 1500 already has an "eTorque" system which also known as an "mild-hybrid".

I have a really worried feeling about this. Don't get me wrong, it needs to happen, but why start off the transition with commercial? It's the consumers who are concerned with buying gas, environmental, and politics. The elephant in the room is Tesla and of course every auto company will follow, further eating into the consumer sedan to SUV market. So why doesn't Ford start there, then work there way up to migrate its trusted largest asset F-Series? I worry Ford is about to look really stupid, sticking out like a sore thumb.

Well Tesla does have the Semi so it's not like this is completely virgin ground. Presumably they've got better data than we do re: mileage needs and its possible (just guessing) that many of the F-Series buyers might make sense re: living within range of a single charge while also seeing more of an impact given the lower MPG of trucks.

Something else to keep in mind is that American big auto ironically hasn't been, how shall I say this, umm... great at doing passenger cars for the last 40 years. So another thought is that they might see this as a place they can be more competitive.

Because the more you drive, the more you save in energy and maintenance cost by switching to EV: charging cost far below gas prices, no oil change, (almost) no break change, etc.

The only thing that slows down (for now) the EV transition is the up-front cost of buying the battery. But businesses are more aware of the cost advantage of EV than consumers.

Most people's F Series are both their personal and work vehicle. At least here in Georgia, it's a lifestyle vehicle. It makes perfect sense to me when most middle aged white collar professionals with money in Georgia drive a big truck and like their gadgets.

Imagine the options for fleets- you could have electrical outlets along the bed to let you plug in and use electric tools powered by your truck! That would be huge for maintenance vehicles.

Ford: we’re going to make an all-electric F-Series truck

Might be a better title

so after 5 years the battery in my laptop is just toast.

can anyone comment on what happens to an electric car after 5 years? 10, 20?

i have a truck with 350,000 kms on it. will this still be possible?

There's been quite a few stories of Tesla Model S with quite a bit more mileage than that [0] [1].

[0]: https://www.teslarati.com/tesloop-tesla-model-s-400k-miles-b... [1]:https://www.teslarati.com/tesla-model-s-400k-km-250k-mi-7-pe...

It all depends on thermal management. Tesla uses liquid cooled active thermal management, and they have less than 10% degradation over 10 years/200k+ miles. Nissan went with passive air cooling for the Leaf, and they are seeing up to 50% degradation in just a few years and less than 50k miles.

The battery in a Nissan LEAF is warranteed to retain 75% of its capacity for 8 years, 160,000 km. So there's a good chance you'd be on a 2nd battery, considering a 3rd at your stage.

But on the upside, there's virtually none of the other engine maintenance that is required of combustion-run vehicles.

As with every manufactured good, certain things are prioritized. Your small commodity laptop battery was likely made to be cheap and light, but not necessarily built to last a long time.

That's like comparing a lawn mower engine and an engine in a car designed to last hundreds of thousands of kilometers. They just weren't designed with the same things in mind.

Tesla especially has done a fantastic job with the chemistry and cooling allowing their batteries to have long life even when they are rapidly charged (which usually wrecks batteries).

Here's one way to think about it, for example- is your laptop battery thermally managed, with its own heating & cooling system to keep it at ideal temperature? Chevy Bolt's is.

"Bolt" would be the logical name for a hypothetical Chevy electric truck.

There is already a Chevy Bolt, in case you had not heard.

Current generation lithium-based batteries will be recycled into batteries for non-automotive applications, e.g. fixed-location storage, etc. It's a wear component, just like cars have always had wear components. If/when a viable contender technology reaches manufacturing at scale, allowing for very-high charge/discharge cycles, that picture will change dramatically. There's currently a ton of money and R&D effort being driven in this direction, so we'll see what emerges.

I've always wondered what the degradation is like, because it dictates what secondary applications are viable.

Is it just peak capacity?

What happens to peak discharge rate?

Charge efficiency?

Discharge efficiency?

>I've always wondered what the degradation is like, because it dictates what secondary applications are viable.

All of the above. Internal resistance increases as the SEI layer (boundary between electrolyte material and the anode) gets thicker and thicker. Eventually it reaches a point where internal resistance is so high that it becomes dangerous to even charge, and at that point the battery basically has to be completely disassembled and recycled. There's essentially no way to safely reuse a whole cell because of the wildly different charge/discharge profiles each one may have been exposed to, which affects the discharge curve accordingly.


A certified Ford dealer will be more than happy to sell you a replacement battery.

Electric car batteries are cooled with coolant which keeps them healthy for longer.

It's currently quite popular to buy used Priuses for 3-4k and spend 1.5k on replacing the batteries with recycled cells.

My 2013 Volt has 85K EV miles (100K total).. Zero battery degradation.

I'm glad for you, but 100k is like the starting point for 'how long a car can last' at least here in Atlanta GA. "Junky" cars manage to die at 100-150k, good cars get 150-200, and 200+ is preferred. 350k is a very different number than 85k.

Alternate example: NYC Taxicabs used to be that Crown Victoria, and each vehicle could get upwards of 400-500k before being replaced. Will the Ford Escape EV replacement also get there? I don't know, the jury is out.

Parent didn't say they had a Volt with a dead battery, they said they have a Volt still going strong, with no signs of failing. It's just a single data point.

As for your taxi example, it's like you haven't even looked. I've been seeing stories of hybrid battery taxi longevity for over a decade.




Okay so the car frame itself lasts 400-500k before being replaced? I'm assuming there are multiple stints of heavy powertrain maintenance during that lifetime. Similarly, if your car's battery gets degraded after 200k miles (or whatever), you just get a new one, much like you might replace the transmission.

Laptops have constraints on the battery - ultra-thin etc. Cars are different, they just want lightweight. So it'll be more than 5 years.

To get big miles, have to change the battery pack I imagine.

The question you should be asking is: what the maintenance cost of electric vehicles compared to normal gas vehicles over a long period of time?

I had a 2007 Ford Escape Hybrid up until the end of 2016. Mileage did decrease to about 27mpg avg from about 29-30mpg (it actually decreased to 24-25mpg for a while but I just needed to replace the engine air filter... whoops). Ford dealership offered to replace the battery for somewhere around $3600 IIRC.

Replacing the battery is always possible, I'd imagine if the electric components are built well, it's likely that with battery replacements you could make the truck last even longer than it would with a more mechanical machine.

By the time the battery has fully degraded the cost of a replacement will have gone down too.

battery in a laptop != car battery. Different compound and different spec. 350,000 kms shouldn't be a problem for a new electric car if you are fine with lower range.

Tesla gives you 8 years warranty for the battery so 10 years shouldn't be an issue. The battery may survive 20 years.

Even if you have to replace the battery it's really nothing comparing to ICE (oil, sparks, DPF etc.)

In five years you will be able to exchange your car battery and extend the full charge range by 15-20%

Oh god, the customer base nearly shat the bed when they announced a transition from steel to aluminium panels... Looking forward to the uproar this will cause!

Can anyone tell me why diesel hybrids aren't really a thing?

Edit: should have Googled - this makes sense: https://www.greencarreports.com/news/1080282_diesel-hybrids-...

Even a plugin electric hybrid would be a big in my opinion (30-60 mile range). We have owned a Volt now for over a year and it has been great. Since owning it we average 75 mpg. My wife can nearly drive to work and back on all electric.

I have an F-150, a ~50 mile range hybrid would cover nearly all of my driving.

Plugin hybrids make great sense, but they don't sell well: https://insideevs.com/monthly-plug-in-sales-scorecard/

I'd love to see them try. The difficulty of making a pickup truck aerodynamically efficient are substantial.

There's no reason why pickup trucks need to have the MASSIVE flat grills they do today, other than aesthetic preferences. They're a disaster aerodynamically as well as for pedestrian safety. Obviously there's a lot more to it (like the bed) but it's a start.

I don't think the grill is significant - the 'whale' shape is supposed to be near ideal.

No, its the box in the back that tanks pickup mileage.

Are aerodynamics even that significant an energy bleed at the speeds we’re talking about? I’m guessing engine losses for those large low rev torque tuned engines are a bigger difference. And of course the massive weight of most pickups these days.

Stopping and starting, weight is a problem. But cruising, weight is an advantage! Makes it hard to figure mileage.

Definitely the engine/transmission friction is a big deal.

I think you're referring to the massive grill guards on the front of many pickups. Are you saying "no reason other than aesthetic preferences" because you feel like it?

Deer at night are a major hazard in much of the land. I hit a small one at night a few weeks ago in central Texas and the dead center impact managed to destroy the chintzy plastic grill in my car and buckle the radiator. I was lucky at that. I was on a four lane highway, doing 50 in a 60 zone, and being vigilant. Still, like most major impacts with deer, this happened completely without warning. As fleet of foot as deer are, they still seem to be slightly overly optimistic about crossing the road before the vehicle arrives, and with cars as fast as they are, there is little room for error. (Try communicating that to the deer)

My mom 'totaled' her car a few years back by hitting a bigger deer at a little faster speed. An impact without any warning.

Try communicating that to the deer

PSA: the way to communicate with any roadside animal is to lay on the horn. They rarely experience horn-honking, and it often shocks them right out of whatever mental rut led them to run onto the road in the first place. While car lights have a dazzling effect, car horns are scary to animals.

Yeah, the horn usually gets to them, when you can see them up ahead, but one should always brake first. I used to hear 'Never swerve, use the brake instead!', and I couldn't imagine anyone with any driving experience thinking that swerving was a good idea in the first place. I never had a serious collision with a deer that was 'caught in the lights', standing on the road. Always able to slow down enough to avoid or slow bump. It's the interceptor deer on a full run that did the most damage, which happens more often than one might think.

Unfortunately, vehicles that are more resistant to damage from wild animals also tend to be more fatal to human pedestrians.

You know how to avoid hitting deer at night? Not driving 50 on a rural road with no street lights.

Aero and electric are orthogonal. Not entirely, but largely.

I think the hybrid bit is the key. Sure they are going to make an electric, but I think they expect the core truck market to take the hybrids.

But a hybrid SUV isn't a 50MPG vehicle. If you look at something like the Toyota Highlander the city MPG goes up ~5-7MPG in the city but not at all on the highway. Its significant, but I would expect a little less from the ford which has already been heavily engineered for city driving (aka a 10 speed trans, etc).

Basically, its still going to be a mid 20's vehicle. The only question IMHO is whether they can keep it reliable. Ford has always had a bit of a reliability cloud above them, and truck buyers have tended towards the trucks partially because they have been seen as simpler, more robust/reliable than the rest of fords lineup. They have done well with the ecoboost for now, but truck owners tend to mistreat their vehicles a little more than your average car buyer and people expect a work truck to last...

I don't see this as much of a problem. Drag coefficient on a Dodge Ram is 0.357; on a Prius it's 0.29.

That's less than a 25% penalty on efficiency.

Drag coefficient is a misleading and meaningless statistic to compare, which is probably exactly why manufacturers use it.

The total drag of a vehicle is given by its total frontal area, multiplied by the drag coefficient. And fuel economy is determined by total drag.

The Ram has a much larger frontal area than the Prius, so it would have substantially worse efficiency even if the coefficients of drag were equal.

Wasn't there a Mythbusters episode about this?

They address how a tailgate affects efficiency, not how the overall efficiency of a pickup is abysmal.

Yes, two and a revisit: episodes 22, 43, and 64.

Title is deceptive

Finally. I've been waiting for an all electric truck, and Ford is a decent brand

They're going to make all-electric (and hybrid) options. What the headline first made me think was that the whole lineup would be all (=only) electric.

yeah, "we're going to make the F-series all electric" and "we're going to make an all-electric F-series truck" are very different headlines.

It may be because they view the F-series as a platform. So they are adding "all-electric" as a feature to the F-series platform. Along with hybrid.

Article's real title is "'We're going to electrify the F-Series,' Ford exec says" which is more ambiguous than the misleading HN edit.

That's the in-page <h1>-title, the HN title is taken from the page's <title>-title, which is different.

<title>Ford: We're going to make F-Series all-electric</title>

<h1>'We're going to electrify the F-Series,' Ford exec says</h1>

But then the sentence still isn't right. You'd have to say "We're going to add all-electric to F-Series" or "We're going to make all-electric for F-Series."

Articles are often dropped from titles:

"Were going to make (an) F-Series all-electric". It's a bit ambiguous in this case.

"Ford: We're going to make an all-electric F-Series"

I was thinking the same thing. There isn't enough power generation capacity in the US to support something like that.

There seems to be, electricity generation uses more energy than transportation: https://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/monthly/pdf/flow/css_20...

Not to mention you have a lot of work trucks operating remotely and in cold environments where you’re going to still need gas for a long long time.

Though, if any vehicle platform can handle a huge oversize battery for a thousand miles of range on a charge- it's a pickup.

People already get 50 gallon tanks, and then throw another 100 gallon tank in the bed. That's a thousand pounds of gasoline.

Never de-gel your fuel lines again.

Considering that power generation and power transmission are generally money makers, seems like somebody would rise up to the challenge. E.g. https://futurism.com/elon-musk-tells-national-governors-asso...

Wrong. For the energy it takes to refine 1 gal of gas you can drive an EV around 27 miles.

That sounds impressive. Do you have a resource for those numbers?

An F-Series might consume more energy than, say, a Nissan Leaf, so it doesn't make sense to me to say "an EV" as though that were a standardized measurement.

And best of all, electricity just produces itself!

No, but a central power generator can produce energy far more cheaply and efficiently than a consumer gas engine optimized for mobility.

My point was that you should be comparing production and consumption directly. Of course electric is better, we wouldn't have EV's otherwise.

I strongly suspect it’s intentional, to get more clicks. I find it annoying and wish there were a way to push back.

Yeah I thought the same. Would be nice, they'd get massive toque monsters and non-truck people would have to deal with less idiots 'rolling coal.'

Maybe they can roll ozone?


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